If you’re into more aggressive off-roading, protecting your truck or Jeep with the right equipment is essential.
Before you slap the cheapest kind you can find on your truck, understand why vehicle-specific skid plates are a better option even option even if they cost a little more.
Skid Plates - Off-Road Under Armor
Skid plates offer you one of the best ways to protect the sensitive underside of your truck.
Without them, you run the risk of denting, crushing, and even ripping off important equipment down there or damaging it beyond use.
A cracked gas tank is no fun, nor is a bent suspension or damaged transmission.
A hit in just the right place can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your truck.
Rather than risk it, invest in some tough skid plates to cover all these vulnerable areas.
Universal-Fit or Vehicle-Specific?
Like many aftermarket parts available for off-roadin' trucks and Jeeps, you can find many types of skid plates made to fit a variety of vehicles; you can also find them made specifically for your truck or Jeep model.
Both types should install fairly easily and give you great protection so you can tackle rough trails without worrying about every knock and scrape you hear coming from underneath.
Regardless of which you choose, make sure you're buying skid plates made from a minimum of 3/16 steel so they're durable enough.
Some manufacturers include skid plates with their vehicles; however, those are usually too flimsy to withstand serious off-roading.
To stay safe while rock climbing and negotiating other obstacles that can be hard on your off-road truck, these plates need to be tough enough.
Why Vehicle-Specific Matters
Even though they can cost a little more, there are two important reasons why you should consider buying vehicle-specific skid plates rather than universal-fit ones:
===>Easier Installation - When you buy skid plates designed for your specific vehicle, each one is shaped and designed to fit closely around the different parts being protected.
From an installation standpoint, this means less modifying, faster installation that goes according to the provided instructions, and less chance of a skid plate loosening or shifting.
Everything will be pre-drilled and perfectly fit to bolt right onto your truck in the safest, most secure areas.
===>Total Customized Protection - An important thing to remember when purchasing skid plates is your reason for doing so, which is to protect ;the different components on the underside of your off-roader.
Universal-fit plates are designed in average sizes to fit a wide variety of similar vehicles; they won’t fit your vehicle perfectly and may even require some modification to install them.
This leaves the potential that you might sustain damage in an area where the plate does not cover properly; you may also pick up more corrosion-causing mud and dirt under the skid plates and have to clean them more frequently.
When you choose skid plates specifically designed for your truck, all of these problems are alleviated.
You get the total protection of each part being covered, fitted and secure installation, and better overall performance.
The Value of Properly Fitting Skid Plates
When it comes to preparing for the rigors of off-roading, there's no questioning the fact that skid plates can protect the vital parts and equipment on the underside of your truck.
For any skid plate to be worth the cost, it has to be well constructed and cover completely.
You’ll get a much better fit and better protection when you opt for vehicle-specific plates over universal-fit ones.
Like spending extra money for custom aftermarket bumpers and fenders, spending a few extra dollars on better skid plates means complete peace of mind that nothing is going to break through and damage your truck!